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The Defenders - a short story

by test 2 years ago in comics
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Who are The Defenders?

The Defenders are a set of fictional superhero groups that appear with rotating membership in American Comic books published by Marvel Comics. They are usually depicted as a "non-team" of individualistic "outsiders" who in their previous adventures are infamous for following their own interests. The squad also has psychological and supernatural issues to deal with. Doctor Strange led his initial iteration, which included Silver Surfer, Hulk, Namor. They have first appeared as Defenders in Marvel Feature # 1. The group had a rotating line-up between 1972 and 1986, with Dr. Strange and the Hulk becoming usually permanent members along with a number of other main stays such as Valkyrie, Nighthawk, Hellcat, Gargoyle, Beast, Satan's Son and Luke Cage, among other occasional members.

At the end of the run, the show was retitled as The New Defenders but did not feature any of the original members, and only the latest long-term members Valkyrie, the Beast, and the Gargoyle. The concept was updated in the 1993–95 series of Secret Defenders, in which Dr. Strange gathered different teams for each individual mission.

In 2001 the original team was reunited in a short-lived series by Kurt Busiek and Erik Larsen. In 2005 Marvel published a five-issue miniseries featuring the original line-up of J.M. Keith Giffen, Kevin Maguire, DeMatteis. In December 2011, the writer Matt Fraction and artist Terry Dodson published a Defenders series with a mix of classic and modern members, lasting for 12 issues.

2018 saw a new five-part crossover plot featuring "Big Four" team members. The shop, published in December, features separate issues all subtitled "Best Protection" at Eternal Hulk, Namor, Doctor Strange and Silver Surfer, culminating in a final issue under the Defenders banner. The Defenders are a group of amateur vigilantes in the Ultimate Marvel universe who dress up as superheroes. None of them have superpowers given the fact that they appear to have experience fighting crime.

Henry Pym is invited to join them, and by adopting a new identity, Ant-Man, he decides to avoid the potential legal problems of using his growth serum because it has become the official property of the Government. Among its members are the new versions of Power Man, Hellcat, Nighthawk, Valkyrie, Black Knight, Son of Satan and Whiz-Kid. The Key Defenders are much more interested in being famous than in stopping abuse or even saving lives. DeMatteis felt a welcome shift, experiencing artistic burnout on the show.

As for issue # 125, The Defenders are retitled as The New Defenders as the original four members are forced to leave the team, in reaction to an alien prophecy stating that the four, operating as a group, will be responsible for destroying the world. While The Beast transforms the squad as an official super-hero squad complete with government approval. The idea of the New Defenders got a big boost in sales for the season, but left DeMatteis in a creative drought. A television miniseries dubbed The Defenders debuted with Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist on Netflix in 2017.

The membership of Defenders was diverse but the three founders (Doctor Strange, Namor the Sub-Mariner, and the Amazing Hulk), Silver Surfer, Valkyrie, Nighthawk, Hellcat, and Gargoyle remained very constant. Membership was simpler in the age of Modern Defenders, as the team became more professionally organised.

This party's composition was even more complex than the original Defenders, but generally included either Doctor Strange or Doctor Druid as the leader, accompanied by a custom group of heroes chosen for the current mission. During various times, War Machine, Darkhawk, Thunderstrike, Wolverine, the latter Spider-Woman, Ant-Man, Iceman, Nomad and several others were members. At the end of its existence the group had a very common composition including Cadaver, Sepulchre, Joshua Pryce and Druid.


About the author


I am a thrill seeker and am always in the lookout for great trails and peaks that offer breathtaking views. Traveling is a passion and I am grateful to have wandered for so long and meet some amazing people along the way.

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